Mayor:

Mayor: "Let police go after moped thugs without fear of the law"

Police should be allowed to chase violent moped gangs without fear of prosecution, London’s mayor said yesterday.

Sadiq Khan’s intervention came after it emerged that some thieves remove their helmets to discourage officers from following them in case there is an accident – and the police themselves end up in the dock.

He insisted the police must be granted greater freedom to pursue the perpetrators of the ‘reckless’ and ‘frightening’ snatch crimes that can involve the throwing of acid.

In the 12 months to June, Scotland Yard recorded 16,158 such thefts – three times as many as the previous year.

The Home Office is planning a crisis summit to draw up an action plan to tackle the menace.

A spokesman for Mr Khan said: ‘It is important that the law and any guidelines protect and not hinder the police in their vital role of keeping Londoners safe, including when it comes to pursuing suspects on mopeds.

‘Moped crime is reckless, frightening and intimidating and will not be tolerated on the streets of London. The mayor views this crime as an extremely serious offence and fully supports the police to crack down on perpetrators.’

The Police Federation wants to change the law that exposes officers to prosecution for careless or dangerous driving in pursuits.

It is also calling for police chiefs to publicly back those who chase offenders and for investigations by the police watchdog into collisions during chases to be quicker.

Mr Khan’s spokesman said: ‘It’s important that officers feel confident and able to take appropriate action when pursuing suspects on mopeds.’

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